If you've been on my site recently, then you know I'm using a theme here called Make, by the Theme Foundry. It's an awesome WordPress drag & drop theme that everyday people – people who don't code – can use to create a variety of page designs.
I've not only used it, but I recommend it regularly to visitors of this site. Because the people that come to read my posts are predominantly not senior developers and architects.
If you head to the Make site, you can even scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see the image that I've put here at the top of this post. An endorsement.
Because Make is easy to use, powerful, and lightweight so that you don't have a huge bloated solution that slows your site down.
For many of you, none of this sounds like a big deal.
But that's because there's more to this story that you may not know.
See, I'm the chief technology officer (CTO) and chief strategist for a company called Crowd Favorite. And that company has released their own WordPress drag and drop solution, called Carrington Build.
Do you now see the potential issue?
I'm sure my staff at Crowd Favorite have wondered.
I'm sure the staff at the Theme Foundry have wondered.
How can the CTO of Crowd Favorite advocate a product that competes with the product his company sells?
They're not Competitors
Carrington Build was a product built out of necessity, like most of Crowd Favorite products. Crowd Favorite isn't a product company (yet). But that doesn't mean it hasn't created products.
And many of them were created in the context of the services company that it is. It creates solutions for customers. And those solutions included WordPress themes.
So you can imagine what it was like to need to create a custom theme for a company that required the company to be able to create different pages with different layouts, using various drag and drop components.
For that customer, Crowd Favorite needed a solution. First and foremost, however, is that the Carrington Build product was meant to be part of a theme that was customized by our staff. In fact, we have a large entertainment company right now that needs a custom theme that allows its users to create a variety of “special” pages, with similar but varying needs, and Carrington Build is the perfect choice.
We can create the components and the layout options and put them together with Carrington Build to create a theme that will deliver exactly what the company wants.
For our developers, Carrington Build may be a perfect option when custom layouts are in order. Especially if the customer needs more than your typical main content and sidebar placement of content blocks.
Can end users use it? Sure.
But where its power lies is with developers who will customize a solution using Carrington Build.
Make wasn't ever really designed or developed for developers to do that sort of thing.
It's not that you can't create a child theme and put more code in there to make things happen.
But even when I was working on my own site I found places where I wanted hooks that just weren't there. Because I was trying to do something that wasn't really available to me. And Make wasn't built for developers to tweak, as much as it was designed for end users to layout varied pages.
Where it's power lies is with end users – non-programmers – who want to customize their site using Make.
Now you can see why there's no conflict
If you're a developer that wants to put drag and drop into a theme, and you don't want to add the bloat that is Visual Composer, then you should seriously check out Carrington Build. It's not a plugin like Visual Composer. It's a theme framework. And that's the key – it's a framework that lets developers take it where it needs to go.
And there are tons of little add-ons on github (again, see the target audience in that decision) that help you do things like use Twitter bootstrap's front end framework.
Two different products for two different market segments
If you're a developer, looking for a drag & drop framework for WordPress to help you with a custom theme you're building, you should seriously consider Carrington Build.
If you're an end user, looking for a drag & drop theme for WordPress to help you design your site, you should seriously consider Make.
Make vs Carrington Build: Who's the winner?
The question, at the end of the day, is who's the winner? Right?
Don't we all just want to know that?
The answer, I'm thrilled to announce, is you.
Because no matter who you are, if you're looking for drag & drop for WordPress, there's a perfect solution for you. Whoever you are.